Press Release

Bay Area nurses to join 139 nationwide ‘May Day’ actions demanding COVID-19 protections for nurses, health care workers

Nurse holds "Protect Nurses" signs

Bay Area nurses will be marking Friday, May 1—International Workers Day, also known as “May Day”—with shift change actions calling for optimal COVID-19 protections. These local actions are part of nurse actions taking place at 139 hospitals in 13 states representing 95,542 nurses, according to the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU).

Nurses say their demand for optimal PPE is underscored by the fact that more than 60 nurses across the country have died of COVID-19, although due to lack of testing, the number is surely higher.

“Nurses signed up to care for their patient. They did not sign up to sacrifice their lives on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said CNA/NNU Executive Director Bonnie Castillo, RN. “On this day that celebrates the labor movement and working people, union nurses are standing up to demand the protections they need now!”

California Nurses Association/National Nurses United registered nurse members are calling on employers and the government to provide nurses and other health care workers with the highest level of protections, including powered air-purifying respirators, and single use of N95s and coveralls that incorporate head coverings and shoe coverings, and gloves. Otherwise, hospitals will remain fomites for infection, say CNA/NNU RNs, and nurses and health care workers will continue to get sick and sidelined, die, and be unable to care for the next wave of patients.

Nurses say it’s clear that the industry thinks they have produced an acceptable solution to the PPE shortage by implementing widespread use of various N95 decontamination systems. This is unacceptable and unsafe, say nurses, who are calling on President Trump to activate the Defense Production Act to order the mass production of PPE. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) must also pass an emergency temporary standard to mandate that healthcare employers provide protections needed for COVID-19, say nurses.

Bay Area May Day actions will take place at the following locations/times on Friday, May 1:


Sutter Alta Bates Summit Medical Center

   350 Hawthorne Ave, Oakland, CA

   2:30 to 4:00 pm

   Contact: Arlene Taylor 510-517-0853

Kaiser Oakland

   275 W. MacArthur Blvd., Oakland, CA

   8 a.m. 9 a.m.

   Contact:  Ben Sizemore: 510-326-4075

UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland

   747 52nd St., Oakland, CA

   2 p.m.

   Contact: Ruben Garcia, 415-745-5833


UCSF Medical Center – Parnassus Campus, nurses’ solidarity action with other UCSF workers

   505 Parnassus Ave, San Francisco, CA

   11:45am – Press Conference, 12pm – UCSF worker caravan & honk-a-thon

   Contact: Julie Tran, (510) 715-6924,

Kaiser San Francisco nurses’ solidarity action with Target Workers

   Target, 2675 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA

   4 p.m.-4:30 p.m.

   Contact: Gus Feldman, 510-206-0251


Kaiser Santa Clara

   700 Lawrence Expwy, Santa Clara CA 9

   1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

   Contact: Diego Valdez, 408-476-1493

National Nurses United is the largest and fastest growing union of registered nurses in the U.S. with more than 150,000 members nationwide. NNU plays a leadership role in safeguarding the health and safety of RNs and their patients and has won landmark legislation in the areas of staffing, safe patient handling, infectious disease and workplace violence prevention.